Let’s set the scene, shall we? You just got engaged (yay!) and you’ve been dreaming about your big day for as long as you can remember. Your Pinterest is “wedding-ready” and now all you need to do is decide on what vendors you should work with to make it all happen. The venue, the flowers, the music, the dress—it’s all ready to go. Now, you need to start thinking about your invitations. You see all these beautiful examples at the different bridal shows you attend and you’re definitely interested in that certain invitation that had all the papers bundled together with a pretty paper band, but what was that called again? You’re left wondering “how do I tell my designer that I want one of those when I don’t even know what it’s called?” On top of that, your designer keeps telling you that you need to include two enclosure cards with your invite, that maybe an envelope liner would be a great piece to include and that a custom monogram would be so cute printed on your day-of materials, but to be honestly, you don’t even know what those things are!
Now you’re wishing that someone would just explain what the heck these stationery terms are, but you’re too nervous to ask for the fear of looking like you have no idea what you’re doing with this whole wedding-planning thing.
Can we let you in on a little secret? No bride knows what to do when making all these wedding decisions.
That’s what wedding planners are for and other wedding professionals, like us—stationery designers—to explain all these weird and terribly wacky things.
Please, allow us to explain
Girl, we get it. You’re not interested in the lingo, you just want to have us designers create what you have envisioned. But, it’s definitely helpful for us if you have some knowledge of what these items are and how they can really be useful.
So, grab your cutest notepad and your favorite pen, because we’re about to explain everything.
These, my dear, are your soon-to-be best friend.
Belly bands are used to wrap your invitation materials together and are typically a printed paper, but sometimes a nice ribbon or twine. Whatever the material, belly bands add a functional design element to your stationery suite. Because, let’s be honest, no one wants to open your wedding invitations and it completely fall apart in their hands. Not only that, but belly bands are handy for keeping the materials together even after your guests are finished reading them. This way, if they need to refer back to it for your registry information, to RSVP to your wedding or maybe for the directions to the reception, they can access all the different pieces in one, nicely bundled package.
Those are exactly what they’re names say they are—an envelope with pockets inside.
These bad boys are a major upgrade from the belly band. They are used, just like the belly band, to hold your invitation pieces together. Instead of being a piece of pretty paper or a small cut of ribbon, this is an actual envelope that has pockets built into it so that your invitations pieces can actually be slipped inside of the pockets for safe keeping.
Keep in mind, that even though it is technically an envelope, we would not recommend putting this baby in the mail without an extra, outer envelope. This will make sure nothing slips out in the mail and it will keep that pocket envelope nice and neat for safe keeping once it arrives in your guests’ home.
These sweet little cards come in handy when you have a lot of information to share with your guests. Reception location, directions to the venue, where you’re registered, hotel information—all of this would go on to your enclosure card.
Keep in mind, depending on the amount of details you’ll need to include it’s possible you’ll need more than one! But, you might ask your designer what they would suggest before you agree to spending an extra $100+ on printing/designing more cards than you might actually need.
If you’re looking to wow your guests in a unique way, envelope liners are the way to go! These are printed paper that are glued to the inside of of your invitation envelopes. This small, but impactful element is an easy way to carry your stationery design throughout your entire suite in an inexpensive way.
But, we will be honest, these cute little guys don’t actually do anything for your invitation suite. They just make it look extra pretty when your guests open them.
So, you’ve decided to have a seating chart, but you have no way to let your guests know exactly where they’re supposed to sit. Allow us to introduce you to the escort cards. These handy, adorable little guys mark your guests seats so no one gets confused about where to sit. Design them to coordinate with the rest of your stationery or have them hand lettered for a personal touch.
Here’s where it gets complicated. There is a totally different card in the wedding world that we like to call place setting cards. These little guys are already placed at your guests table, so rather than going to a seat chart to find their escort card, they would mingle and wander until they found their seat that is perfectly labeled with a place setting card.
Clear as mud?
Interested in having you and your sweetheart’s names written in custom calligraphy for your invitations? Or perhaps you’d like a seating chart that has your guest’s names in calligraphy? These items would require spot calligraphy—when one word or phrase is written individually for a specific stationery item.
There is a special place in our hearts for spot calligraphy and especially for brides who appreciate it. There’s something so special about having someone handwrite a piece for your wedding day. Even if it’s a simple escort card, your guests will feel honored that you took the time to have it handmade.
Have you seen those dreamy, romantic wedding invitations on Pinterest that have the ripped edges all the way around? Those are our beloved deckled edges. We’re a big fan of having decked edges on your wedding invitations. It’s a small detail that really makes a big impression.
Even though we love this look, it’s not necessarily the best option for every wedding. If you’re going for a more bold, modern look for your big day, most likely deckled edges won’t be something you’re looking for. But, if you love the romantic, airy, traditional vibe, deckled edges might be the way to go.
Give your wedding it’s very own identity with a custom monogram. Think of your monogram as a logo for your wedding that could be used on a variety of elements. For example, you could use it on your invitations, a seating chart, party favors, bridesmaid swag bags, water bottle wraps, menus—honestly, the options are endless!
Okay, the list could go on and on…
But, we’re going to stop there.
There are so many stationery terms that we could go over, but we don’t want you falling asleep while we geek out over these things.